The Notting Hill Carnival, held annually in West London on August 24, has become one of the biggest street festivals in Europe. It celebrates the British West Indian community and encourages cultural unity. In the ’60s, the festival sprang up as one way to address community unrest and improve racial relations.
Today, the carnival features a parade with elaborate floats and colorful, costumed performers. Spectators dance to steel bands and calypso music. So, if you want to get into the spirit of the Caribbean, eat some peas and rice and other delicacies and be all the way live at the Notting Hill Carnival from August 24 – 26. Give yourself over to those wonderful West Indian vibes!
Notting Hill Carnival timeline
Over 1 million people attended Notting Hill Carnival
This makes the festival the largest street festival in Europe and one of the largest in the world.
Notting Hill Carnival born
The carnival is led by members of the British West Indian community.
- Early 1960s
Two events inspired the Notting Hill Carnival
The St Pancras Town Hall responded to problematic racial relations at the time, and the London Free School festival was the first outdoor festival in the area celebrating cultural unity.
Notting Hill Carnival Activities
Cook a Caribbean dish
Caribbean food is a great fusion of cuisine from the many countries that colonized the area or had some other presence in the islands. You'll find European, Latin American, Cajun, and African influences in many traditional recipes.
Listen to Caribbean music
Reggae, meringue, calypso and rumba are some examples of the breadth and versatility of Caribbean musical styles. During the Notting Hill Carnival, groove on the beats and appreciate their uniqueness!
Visit a program at the Notting Hill Carnival
Over the two day festival, there are a variety of different activities and programs going on. Watch a parade, check out a music competition, or listen to a Caribbean history lesson.
4 Celebrities With Caribbean Roots
Rihanna was born in Barbados before coming to the United States.
The rapper was born in Trinidad and sometimes references the country in her songs.
Bob Marley became the voice of an oppressed generation in Jamaica. Through reggae music, people all over the world became aware of Marley's community activism for social justice and pure, Jamaican pride.
Although Washington was born in New York, her mother comes from Jamaican heritage.
Why We Love Notting Hill Carnival
Much of what people know about the Caribbean is the beautiful landscape. The Notting Hill Carnival shows people that there's so much more to the region, including the food, dancing, music, and of course, the warm, West Indian people!
Some of the most interesting features of the festival are the colorful, feathery costumes that people wear. Blues, greens, yellows, and pinks can be seen for blocks as dancers make their way through the parade.
One of the charms of the Notting Hill Carnival is when attendees let loose and have a good time. Don't be afraid to let your hair down and party! Security is tight allowing everybody to have a great time.